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Russia Issues Crimea Banknote

A new 100-ruble banknote dedicated to Crimea and Sevastopol is presented in Moscow on December 23.

Russia has issued a new banknote dedicated to Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed illegally by the Kremlin last year.

The new banknote, worth 100 rubles ($1.41), depicts a memorial to sunken ships in the port of Sevastopol, where Russia keeps its Black Sea Fleet, and the Swallow's Nest, a clifftop castle near Yalta.

The yellow-colored note also features a watermark of Empress Catherine the Great, who extended the borders of the Russian Empire in the 18th century to absorb Crimea.

Russia's central bank said in a statement it would issue 20 million of the new notes. It has previously minted a 10-ruble coin to celebrate Russia's control of Crimea.

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in March last year in a military operation denounced by the West, which imposed retaliatory sanctions on Moscow that remain in place.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and Interfax